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President’s blog: See you in Paris!

Date: March 25, 2024

Category: Football

The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) President, Ilgar Rahimov, travelled to Paris, France, between 21 and 22 March to meet with representatives of the Organising Committee for the 2024 Paralympic Games on preparations for what are expected to be thrilling competitions in goalball, blind football and judo between 28 August – 8 September.

IBSA President and members of the IBSA management team are shown around one of the venues of Paris 2024

I spent only two days with the teams of the Paris Organising Committee 2024. I admire their love and dedication to their work, and their professionalism. We managed to discuss all aspects of preparing for the competition in goalball, blind football and judo.

We looked at the comprehensively prepared presentations for each Paralympic IBSA sport and talked about all the technical details. The tour of the competition venues left an excellent impression and gave us confidence that the next Paralympic Games will be an amazing success. For all this, many thanks to the team who put their soul into their work.

I also extend my thanks to Aurélie Merle, Paris 2024 Executive Director of Sports, for a wonderful
welcome and productive conversation.

Separately while in Paris we had the chance to meet with Fédération Française Handisport and their President Guislaine Westelynck, as well as friends from this organisation Gael Rivière and Charly Simo. We had a warm meeting and I was pleased to hear great support for IBSA’s reforms and ideas in areas such as classification, finance, and organisational capacity which we are working on as we speak. I am sure that the ideas we shared together can be implemented – watch this space.

IBSA President Ilgar Rahimov and Executive Director Tony Sainsbury meet with Ghislaine Westlnyck and Gael Riviere outside the headquarters of Handisport

Most importantly, our common work for the benefit of athletes I hope will show great results. Athletes with vision impairments are diligently preparing for their Paralympics. Let them be sure, they will have a big sports festival.

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